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Fewer pat-downs for kids in TSA security checks

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 13, 2011

Children under the age of 13 soon will no longer be required to remove their shoes at airport security checkpoints, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress on Tuesday according to the Associated Press.

The policy, which is scheduled to be rolled out to select airports this week, also includes other methods of screening young children without resorting to a pat-down that involves touching private areas the release said.

Napolitano said that the use of children as suicide bombers had been a part of past  terrorist plots, and to keep security random, some children still may be required to remove their shoes to keep airport security unpredictable.

"There will always be some unpredictability built into the system, and there will always be random checks even for groups that we are looking at differently, such as children," she said, according to the release.

To reduce the number of pat-downs given to children, screeners will soon be told to send children through metal detectors or the walk-through imaging machines multiple times to capture a clear picture and use more explosive trace detection tools such as hand swabs, according to the TSA. 

Read more about the TSA policy changes for children by the Associated Press.

Airline passengers go through the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 in Atlanta.
Associated Press

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